The trouble with going on an outing with friends who have much younger children is, its always a little tricky finding things to do together that all the kids will enjoy. Recently went to the woods with some good friends and their 10 month old baby.
I love taking Goblin to the woods because it gives him an opportunity to run free and play with the natural "toys" such as sticks and leaves and mud. However, sticks, and leaves and mud are not ideal toys for a baby who is still inclined to stick everything he finds in his mouth.
When Goblin set off at top speed into the woods and discovered a half built den he decided to finish the job. Normally this would be entirely awesome. However he picked a spot deep in the woods surrounded by ditches and brambles and not at all buggy friendly or crawling baby friendly. Fortunately our friends were happy to hang out on a picnic bench by the path and feed Baby T while we played.
Eventually Goblin was ready to move on and we found an activity we could all participate in, walking round the lake. Baby T's dad is a keen fisherman and he and Goblin spent a while throwing bread into the lake and enticing the fish to the surface. Goblin loves Baby Ts dad and enjoyed the one to one attention and information on fish that was imparted.
And further on from the lake there is a special dipping pond at the woods. It has a path around it that allows you to get really close to the water so you can see all the creatures within. Baby T was able to crawl along the path and hang over the edge to look at the newts, frogs and toads. I was very excited by the fact that the frog spawn and toad spawn were right by the path so you could see it and touch it. Did you know that frog spawn is laid in clumps and toad spawn is laid in strips - I didn't. I learnt this from my friends while out on the walk (if you look really carefully in the photo you can see a tiny amount of toad spawn about an inch in from the TTG watermark - the eggs are much closer together). We filled a jar with some frog spawn so Goblin can watch it grow at home.
And Goblin did something I haven't seen him do before. He asked if he could hold Baby T so he could see the frogspawn. I thought this desire to show and share was so cute, and Baby Ts mum was happy for Goblin (with my help) to lift Baby T over the edge of the fence to have a good look at the frogs and toads.
Despite the nearly three year age gap, by the end of the day Goblin and Baby T were bonded. And we had a great day out.